Appraisal Secrets

Unveiling Appraisal Secrets: A Guide for Real Estate Buyers and Sellers

In the complex world of real estate transactions, property appraisals hold the power to influence the fate of a deal. Whether you're a buyer seeking the perfect home or a seller hoping to secure a fair value, understanding the intricacies of appraisals can provide a significant advantage. In this article, we unveil some appraisal secrets that can empower both real estate buyers and sellers in making informed decisions.

For Real Estate Buyers:

1. Know the Appraiser's Role:

Understanding the role of the appraiser is crucial for buyers. Appraisers are unbiased professionals responsible for determining the fair market value of a property. Their assessment helps lenders decide how much they are willing to lend for a property. Remember that an appraiser's job is not to validate your personal attachment to a property but to provide an objective valuation.

2. Research Comparable Sales:

Savvy buyers do their homework by researching recent comparable sales in the area. These comparable properties should be similar in terms of size, condition, amenities, and location. Having a list of strong comparables can help you negotiate if the appraisal comes in lower than expected, as you'll have data to support your position.

3. Enhance Curb Appeal and Condition:

Buyers can indirectly influence the appraisal outcome by considering the property's condition and curb appeal. While appraisers primarily rely on objective data, a well-maintained property with good curb appeal can create a positive impression. Ensure the property is clean, well-maintained, and any needed repairs are addressed before the appraisal.

For Real Estate Sellers:

1. Prepare Accurate Property Information:

Provide the appraiser with accurate and detailed information about your property. Highlight recent improvements, renovations, and upgrades that can positively impact the value. Having a comprehensive list of these enhancements can help the appraiser make a fair assessment.

2. Clean and Declutter:

A clutter-free and well-kept property can leave a favorable impression on the appraiser. A clean and organized space allows the appraiser to focus on the property's features rather than distractions. This can potentially influence the overall impression and, in turn, the valuation.

3. Accompany the Appraiser:

While it's not always feasible, accompanying the appraiser during the property visit can offer the opportunity to share insights about the property. You can provide information about any unique features, upgrades, or neighborhood amenities that might not be immediately apparent. This firsthand information can influence the appraiser's understanding of the property.

For Both Buyers and Sellers:

1. Understand Market Trends:

Stay informed about local market trends to provide context for the appraiser. If there are recent changes in the market, such as increasing home prices or declining inventory, sharing this information can help the appraiser make an accurate assessment that aligns with current market conditions.

2. Address Appraisal Discrepancies:

If the appraisal comes in lower than expected, both buyers and sellers have the option to address discrepancies. For buyers, having solid comparable data can be useful in negotiations. For sellers, consider requesting a copy of the appraisal report to identify any potential errors or omissions that may have affected the valuation.


Appraisals need not be shrouded in mystery. By delving into these appraisal secrets, both real estate buyers and sellers can navigate the process with confidence. Understanding the appraiser's role, researching comparables, enhancing property condition, and staying informed about market trends can provide a competitive edge. By leveraging these insights, you'll be better equipped to navigate the appraisal stage of your real estate journey and make well-informed decisions that align with your goals.